CES 2011: Bluetooth Low Energy Watch

The problem with a Bluetooth watch is, who wants to recharge a watch constantly? Problem solved – at least according to Casio, which announced the development of a watch using new low-energy technology from Bluetooth that will go two years on a single button-cell battery. Casio showed a prototype of the watch at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Casio said Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, the new low-power-consumption version of the short-range wireless networking standard, is allowing it “to create new possibilities for the way people use their watches.” Functions the company pointed out in the prototype weren’t earth-shattering, but included alert signals notifying the wearer of calls and email messages arriving on the networked smartphone; the ability to activate smartphone alarm and vibration functions using a watch button; the  ability to stop a smartphone’s ring and vibration alerts by tapping the watch; and, finally, by receiving the time from the smartphone, the watch is accurate.

Casio Bluetooth Low Energy Watch

image via Casio

“Users can wear it every day just like they normally do, without the hassle of recharging which is required by typical mobile devices,” Casio said. The company based the two-year battery life estimate on how the prototype fared, and assumed that the Bluetooth wireless communication function would be used for 12 hours per day.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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